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  1. #1
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    1984 Schwinn Voyageur--Cold set or no?

    Just picked up a Voyageur yesterday for $40. It is in fairly good condition. Sorry, no pictures, but it is a going to be a nice bike when I get done with it.

    It is set up for half step plus granny with 50/46/28 chainrings and a 5 speed freewheel. I'm debating whether to cold set it from 120 - 126 and put a 7 speed freewheel on it and put on a smaller middle chainring. I've never tried half step gearing so I really don't know how hard it would be to get used to that.

    I am a little reluctant to try cold setting for the first time on a frame that I would really hate to screw up. I've got a couple frames of minimal value on hand such as a well-worn Raleigh Reliant and a poor quality Schwinn Varsity. How helpful would it be to practice first before attacking a good frame? How would different frame materials react to cold setting (i.e. straight gauge on the reliant vs. Tange Champion #2 Extra on the Voyageur)?

    Perhaps what I should do is overhaul the bearings, change the cables and housing, put on some bar end shifters, new handlbars, etc. and not worry about the drivetrain in phase one of the build process. Then I could ride it with half step plus for awhile and see if I like that before deciding for sure.

  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    If you follow Saint Sheldon's instructions, it's hard to screw up.

    OTOH, if you're really reluctant to try it, just spread each side of the rear triangle with your hands while installing the 126mm rear hub. It's not that difficult, it's not going to damage the frame, and how often do you dismount the rear wheel anyhow?
    - Stan

  3. #3
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    That is a good question. I've got some new 27" gatorskins that were awaiting a quality bike. I'd think that flats won't be so common with those tires on it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member skinny's Avatar
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    If you are mechanically proficient enough to remove the crankset and complete bottom bracket, the correct method for cold setting a rear triangle is to remove the two above items, place the bottom bracket shell of the frame in the jaws of a vise with brass guards, and cold set the rear triangle with your bare hands. It is very difficult to over bend if you carefully follow the above procedure. Just gentle pushing on the inside of the dropouts is about all that is needed. Someone who has done this a few times will go straight at this and make what ever minor adjustments necessary without a second thought. It really isn't a big deal. Usually the dropouts are aligned at the same time to correct any minor alignment issues that may crop up here.

    Using a lever like Sheldon Brown shows introduces the possibility that you may bend more than you want because you are adding the mechanical advantage of a lever and you are losing the feeling of the cold setting because of the lever. Plus, since the frame is not securely anchored, no matter how hard you try, everything is moving, making the entire process less stable. The only time a lever is used to align the frame is IF the heatube needs to be aligned with the seattube. Then the only way to do it is to insert a bar long enough to provide sufficient leverage through the headtube.

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    Senior Member skinny's Avatar
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    Oh and FWIW, your Voyageur is a very stout frame built with very robust chromium moybdenum tubing(by Panasonic if I recall) and will take this cold setting without the slightest whimper.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    If you follow Saint Sheldon's instructions, it's hard to screw up.

    OTOH, if you're really reluctant to try it, just spread each side of the rear triangle with your hands while installing the 126mm rear hub. It's not that difficult, it's not going to damage the frame, and how often do you dismount the rear wheel anyhow?
    Note that the sheldonbrown.com article advises that if you are going up only one size (sizes being 120, 126, 130 mm) that there is no need to cold set the frame.

    From personal experience (Miyata 610, 1984, double butted Chrome-Moly) I can confirm this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Grand Bois's Avatar
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    It would be very difficult to screw it up if you follow Sheldon's instructions to the letter.

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    You might want to measure first. Most Schwinns with 5 speed clusters were already 125/126 to start with.

  9. #9
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    I measured the frame and it is 120.

  10. #10
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    Decided not to coldset it for now, in part because the original Wolber Super Champion no 58 rims are in decent shape. By the way, is Tange Champion No. 2 Extra different than regular No.2? I need to get a more elegant way to attach the pump. I put a homebrew MR16 light on it and xenon strobe on the rear. I think the front light looks OK. It isn't a good set up for touring but I'm going to use this more as an around town/utility bike. I've got some wald folding racks that are not in use so they will probably go on this.







    Last edited by IceNine; 02-01-09 at 07:36 AM.

  11. #11
    working on progress treebound's Avatar
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    That looks nice. And it doesn't look like a true half-step gearing on it, what are the tooth counts on the chain rings (if you posted this already then I missed it).

    Half-steeping isn't that big of a deal. Years ago I used to have a small chart taped to the stem with the gear step sequence on one bike, but after awhile I just used the big ring when I was fresh, the middle ring when I was tired, and figured I didn't need to fine tune my shifting that much. Made life much easier and I could focus on traffic than on double shifting.

    Anyway, nice looking bike.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    That isn't half step gearing. I have half step on a Miyata 610 and the huge size difference of the two inner chain rings is well, a bit shocking the first time you see it.

  13. #13
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    If you follow Saint Sheldon's instructions, it's hard to screw up.

    OTOH, if you're really reluctant to try it, just spread each side of the rear triangle with your hands while installing the 126mm rear hub. It's not that difficult, it's not going to damage the frame, and how often do you dismount the rear wheel anyhow?
    +1 What he said. If you are concerned about cold setting your frame, why not just follow the above advice. Thats what I would do.

  14. #14
    Senior Member miamijim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    If you follow Saint Sheldon's instructions, it's hard to screw up.
    I'm waiting for the day someone buckles a seat tube doing that.....waiting, patiently.
    WWW.CYCLESPEUGEOT.COM 2005 Pinarello Dogma; 1991 Paramount PDG 70 Mtb; 1976? AD Vent Noir; 1989 LeMond Maillot Juane F&F; 1993? Basso GAP F&F; 1989 Terry Symmetry; 2003 Trek 4700 Mtb; 1983 Vitus 979

  15. #15
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    It isn't half step now because I switched the middle chain ring so it now is 50/40/28. I think it was 50/46/28.

  16. #16
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Cold setting is very easy. I would not hesitate in doing it. Sheldon (pbuh) is correct that the one size jump won't cause any problems with dropout angles, but depending on your frame, you might only move one arm. I had this problem where the right side moved 3 mm and the left only moved one.

    If you are worried about cold setting, an LBS could do it for you. Usually this is the same price as a frame straitening. We charge $25 for it.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by miamijim View Post
    I'm waiting for the day someone buckles a seat tube doing that.....waiting, patiently.
    I brought my Bianchi Campione (that I've posted so many time on this forum I won't post it here) to my LBS to have the rear spread from 126 to 130. The mechanic there at All Star Bikes is like a young Sheldon Brown. He works on all C & V types with no fear and understands the details like no one I've ever met. He's the person I trusted to straigten my Woodrup derailer hanger.
    This excellent mechanic declined to cold set the frame. He said he's seen cold setting gone bad, didn't provide details, but said he didn't want to chance it with a nice seamless Tange frame.
    To Miamijim's point, if this guy won't do it, I'm not going to chance it unless it's an el cheapo frame that I would toss. I know most have had good success with cold setting, and I believe my freind, Robbie Tunes has done this successfully, but I'm just going to install my 130mm, 8-speed axle by pulling a little bit on the stays and slip it in there. Just my point of view.
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